The burden of war too heavy for US?

Shlomo Weber, professor of economics at Southern Methodist University (SMU), Texas:

There are three types of the costs when we talk about the Libyan war. The first type is the missiles. Already in the first days of the war, they used more than 100 missiles at the cost of more than $ 100mln.

There is also a lot of fuel for the bombers F-15, F-16 and B-2, and there’s another cost, of course, which has to be paid to the combat personnel, which is very difficult to calculate. So, even the first days of the war cost already more than 100mln, and the first week of the war would come close to $ 1bln.

In general, well, if it is a short war, than, probably, the United States can handle it, but if it takes a week or two weeks, or even longer, then, there’ll be a lot of problems, because, then, the Pentagon will have to go the Congress in order to get supplemental financing for the war, and in the current situation, when the American Congress wants to cut the spending, it would be very difficult and very unpleasant.

So, what the United States will try to do is to shift some of the burden to its allies, to NATO allies, and it’s also very difficult because everybody faces financial problems. So, there are a lot of challenges ahead.

To find out more on the issue, read or listen to our In Focus program from March 28, 2011 in Radio section.

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